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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4625

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1924-1999

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 8.55 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Royal Fine Art Commission


Administrative/Biographical history:

Set up in 1924 by royal warrant, the Royal Fine Art Commission (RFAC) acted as an advisory body to the government on all things architectural and aesthetic about the city. Although it lacked statutory powers, the Commission worked to influence and encourage decisions made about the built environment, urban design and the use of public space and amenities. These duties were extended in 1933, enabling the Commission to attract the government's attention to any development which impacted national urban design or the aesthetics of the public character. With increasing influence on planning permission submissions, the Commission's reach was further extended in 1946 by giving it the power to make inspections and request information on prospective projects. In post-War London, the Commission played a strong role in the planning and reconstruction of the city, from the design of new buildings to the alteration and re-use of existing ones. By the time it was decommissioned, the RFAC was an important influence on and part of the design process for the rebuilding and construction of new buildings nation-wide. It also had a major influence on the placement of memorials and statues, the style and use of street lighting and the construction of roads and motorways.

In 1999, the RFAC's functions were taken over by the newly established Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), which continued to act in this independent capacity until 2011.

Source of information:


Scope and content/abstract:

Project case files seeking consultation and approval from the RFAC for various London-wide architectural proposals and developments dating from 1924-1999.


Language/scripts of material: English.

System of arrangement:

Records are kept in original order with original numbers found in former reference field.

Records are arranged into 4 sub-fonds:
A - Administration
B - Monuments
C - Infrastructure
D - London Localities
E - Other Consultations

Within each sub-fonds the records are arranged into series; thereafter files are listed by former reference as ordered by the organisation.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright is held by the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in January 2001 and July 2011.


Related material:

At London Metropolitan Archives: COL/PL/01/166/A/019, LCC/AR/TP/01/092, GLC/DG/PRB/35/009/596, GLC/DG/PRB/35/035/161, LMA/4544/06/20/005.

The central records of the Royal Fine Arts Commission are held at The National Archives in Kew.

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Added in May 2013.

Architectural organizations | Cultural organizations | Cultural administration
Planning permission | Planning decisions | Planning control | Town and country planning | Urban development
Public archives | Archives
Urban design | Urban planning | Urban development

Personal names

Corporate names
Royal Fine Art Commission

Greater London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe